NIGERIA’S FOREIGN POLICY, REGIONAL LEADERSHIP AND THE CRISIS OF NEOCOLONIAL DEVELOPMENT, 1960 – 2016
Keywords:Foreign policy, regional leadership, domestic national development
The study offered a plausible critique of the leadership pathology that bedevils Nigeria’s hegemonic ambition in Africa – especially the disconnect between the development of its power resources and leadership role. That is, Nigeria’s attempt to play a hegemonic foreign policy in Africa without a fundamental domestic capacity to sustain such role. The objective of the study was to examine the extent to which Nigeria used its assumed leadership position in Africa to bring about tangible development at home. The theoretical model adopted for the study was political realism, otherwise known as the power approach. The utility of this theory for the study is that States in international relations are always “possessed” by their national interest which nations attain only by improving upon the elements of their national power relative to other States. Findings from the study revealed among other things, that Nigeria consistently pursued its domestic development objectives independently of its foreign policy goals. The study recommended among other things that although Nigeria’s foreign policy in general remained Africa – centred, it should, however, be more inward –focused, aimed at adding value to Nigeria’s development.